Opinion

Speaker educates area residents on sex trafficking

Anne Boatright speaks at Boone County Health Center on the topic of human sex trafficking.

By Gabby Christensen
Although it may come as a surprise for some, human sex trafficking is evident across the state of Nebraska.
On Wednesday, April 10, the Boone County Health Center hosted a free opportunity to learn more about human sex trafficking from Anne Boatright, a forensic nurse who serves as an important member on the state Task Force (NHTTF) in the fight against human sex trafficking in Nebraska.
The event generated a good-sized crowd of curious community members.
Boatright began her presentation by discussing the differences between labor trafficking and sex trafficking.
She explained that with labor trafficking, someone is forced to do labor without receiving payment.
On the other hand, sex trafficking occurs when someone initiates a sex act without consent.
Boatright said traffickers will threaten, manipulate and use false promises to abuse victims.
In order to charge someone with sex trafficking, Boatright said there needs to be proof of fraud, coercion and force.
However, if the victim is under the age of 18, there is no need to prove the aforementioned, as a child is an automatic victim.
The average age of trafficking victims range from 14 to 24 years of age.
Usually, victims have experienced sexual abuse in their past. Sex trafficking takes place all across Nebraska, Boatright said.

Complete story in the April 17 Albion News print and e-editions.